Chapter 1: Time To Run

Opening his eyes and seeing the familiar woman lying next to him unconscious only drew his mind to one conclusion.

This was a start to a very bad day.

Ronan Dex though groggy and slightly disorientated managed to move his arms and legs underneath and push himself upright and facing this unfortunate reality around him. He alarmingly discovered that he was unarmed, even his many hidden knives were gone and he was no longer wearing his own clothes. Indeed of his warm and warn brown tunic and pants, he found a strange dark material covering his body. It resembled too much of the uniforms the Wraith officers wear.

He gently placed his right hand on the woman's shoulder and shook her awake. Her eyes snapped with instinct and she thrashed around before her green eyes settled on him and she calmed down somewhat. Her face creased with confusion and fear but she remained silent as he helped pull her into a sitting position.

He watched her as she took in their surroundings and secretly marvelled at the way she could maintain her composure. She was neither a fighter, nor a warrior yet Elizabeth Weir had a strength about her that was just simply amazing. He noticed that she too was wearing the strange black material and he couldn't help the frown on his face when he saw her notice it too.

When she turned to see what else around them, her dark curls fell over her shoulders and allowed him to see the distinctive scar line at the base of her neck. He recognised it instantly and raised his hands over his shoulder and sighed when he felt an identical mark there. The skin was rough and tender informing him that it was fresh and not long been done to them.

Elizabeth turned back to him and moved herself into a crouching position. Obviously she knew that they weren't safe in their current position. After all they were just sat in the middle of an open plain, a small forest tree line not far away on one side and open sea the other. There were no landmarks to pinpoint where they were and he had no recollection of landing on this planet. Ronan doubted it would have a Stargate but there was a slim chance they could make it if they found one.

He moved to stand and held out a hand to her which she gratefully accepted. Once more Ronan found himself admiring her resolve; she had not yet asked him any questions which were way more than he could possibly say for Mckay. He wondered if she knew how much he had come to care for her; not in a romantic way but in the way of family. He had sworn himself to her along with Atlantis and he was going to do everything he could to protect her from the horrors that they would surely be facing together and unfortunately shortly.

She smiled weakly at him as if sensing her thoughts and moved her hand to the back of her neck and scratched the skin lightly. Her eyes widened when she felt the mark and Ronan didn't know if she was cry or scream. Thankfully she did neither and the look in her eyes changed into something he had only seen a few times before. It was the look she gave when she would turn into a turbulent wind and knock down or destroy anything in her path. She had used it on the Genii, the Wraith and the Asurans and now she was using her iron will once more.

He couldn't help the tiny smile that tugged at the corner of his lips; he felt proud of her even though he was sure she had learned that look from Sheppard and not himself. Thinking of Sheppard, he wondered if he was planning a daring rescue right now with McKay, using the signal they had tapped into before.

Ronan couldn't help the stray thought that Sheppard wouldn't take as long this time because he had Elizabeth to worry about as well. He had always had this impression that there was more between the two commanders of Atlantis but he had seen no evidence to support this. They were just always together both on and off duty and eventually came to the conclusion that they were just good friends and close because their jobs demanded it so.

He grabbed her hand again and without saying a word he started running and half dragged her behind him. He knew that she couldn't run as fast as him and that if it came down to it he should leave her behind but he would never do that. She had given him a home, friends, a place for hope of a better tomorrow and he owed her everything.

She said nothing as she pumped her legs as fast as she could and then some more because she knew that when Ronan ran like this it was with purpose. A blind instinct took over when she had felt the scar on her base of her neck and she remembered some of the events that had led them here. They had been trading on a planet and she had been leading the negotiations when the Wraith had unexpectedly turned up and started culling everyone.

Sheppard had shouted at them to run for the Gate and to take as many people as they could with them. She had been running right behind him when she had fallen over a piece of rock that had once been part of a building in the town and Ronan had turned to help her up when a Dart had flown directly above them and swooped them up. She remembered the look on John's face when he silently screamed at them in horror and Elizabeth briefly wondered if she'd ever see him again. Ronan tugging on her hand snapped her thoughts back to the present and she ran with all she was worth as they headed for the tree line.

They were both Runners now.

A/N: So this idea has been spinning around my head for months now and I've finally given in to writing it. Let me know what you think as always it's much appreciated!